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LEAPChem Supplies Levodopa (59-92-7) Now

Nov. 2018/11/29 14:50:35 By LEAP Chem

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Basic Information of Levodopa

Chemical Name: Levodopa

Cas No.: 59-92-7

Molecular Formula: C9H11NO4

Chemical Structure:



L-DOPA, also known as levodopa or L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine is an amino acid that is made and used as part of the normal biology of humans, as well as some animals and plants. Humans, as well as a portion of the other animals that utilize L-DOPA in their biology, make it via biosynthesis from the amino acid L-tyrosine. L-DOPA is the precursor to the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and epinephrine (adrenaline), which are collectively known as catecholamines. Furthermore, L-DOPA itself mediates neurotrophic factor release by the brain and CNS. L-DOPA can be manufactured and in its pure form is sold as a psychoactive drug with the INN levodopa; trade names include Sinemet, Pharmacopa, Atamet, Stalevo, Madopar, and Prolopa. As a drug, it is used in the clinical treatment of Parkinson's disease and dopamine-responsive dystonia.

L-DOPA has a counterpart with opposite chirality, D-DOPA. As is true for many molecules, the human body produces only one of these isomers (the L-DOPA form). The enantiomeric purity of L-DOPA may be analyzed by determination of the optical rotation or by chiral thin-layer chromatography (chiral TLC).

L-DOPA crosses the protective blood–brain barrier, whereas dopamine itself cannot. Thus, L-DOPA is used to increase dopamine concentrations in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and dopamine-responsive dystonia. This treatment was made practical and proven clinically by George Cotzias and his coworkers, for which they won the 1969 Lasker Prize. Once L-DOPA has entered the central nervous system, it is converted into dopamine by the enzyme aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase, also known as DOPA decarboxylase. Pyridoxal phosphate (vitamin B6) is a required cofactor in this reaction, and may occasionally be administered along with L-DOPA, usually in the form of pyridoxine.

Besides the central nervous system, L-DOPA is also converted into dopamine from within the peripheral nervous system. Excessive peripheral dopamine signaling causes many of the adverse side effects seen with sole L-DOPA administration. To bypass these effects, it is standard clinical practice to coadminister (with L-DOPA) a peripheral DOPA decarboxylase inhibitor (DDCI) such as carbidopa (medicines containing carbidopa, either alone or in combination with L-DOPA, are branded as Lodosyn (Aton Pharma) Sinemet (Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited), Pharmacopa (Jazz Pharmaceuticals), Atamet (UCB), and Stalevo (Orion Corporation) or with a benserazide (combination medicines are branded Madopar or Prolopa), to prevent the peripheral synthesis of dopamine from L-DOPA. Coadministration of pyridoxine without a DDCI accelerates the peripheral decarboxylation of L-DOPA to such an extent that it negates the effects of L-DOPA administration, a phenomenon that historically caused great confusion. L-DOPA is produced from the amino acid L-tyrosine by the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase. It is also the precursor for the monoamine or catecholamine neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and epinephrine (adrenaline). Dopamine is formed by the decarboxylation of L-DOPA by aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC).

L-DOPA can be directly metabolized by catechol-O-methyl transferase to 3-O-methyldopa, and then further to vanillactic acid. This metabolic pathway is nonexistent in the healthy body, but becomes important after peripheral L-DOPA administration in patients with Parkinson's disease or in the rare cases of patients with AADC enzyme deficiency.

L-Phenylalanine, L-tyrosine, and L-DOPA are all precursors to the biological pigment melanin. The enzyme tyrosinase catalyzes the oxidation of L-DOPA to the reactive intermediate dopaquinone, which reacts further, eventually leading to melanin oligomers. In addition, tyrosinase can convert tyrosine directly to L-DOPA in the presence of a reducing agent such as ascorbic acid.


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